PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) is purposefully driving the subject of Industrie 4.0 and is laying out the steps for future-proof further development of today's proven solutions. To this end, PI has started a working group with more then 30 participants from different member companies, whose first step will be to define use cases relevant for Industrie 4.0. Furthermore, it will assess existing and new technologies from the standpoint of use in Industrie 4.0 production systems and analyze the standardization environment. The objective is to identify requirements for communication that are important in the Industrie 4.0 environment and to standardize them as further development of PI technologies.
It is already clear today that PROFINET, with its openness for TCP/IP and its standard Ethernet based technology, has a future-proof architecture that forms a basic prerequisite for Industrie 4.0. Evidence of this is given in the ARC white paper "How PROFINET and Industrie 4.0 Enable Information-Driven Industries" (available for free download at: www.profibus.com/industrie_4_0), which presents the background and motivation for the transformation of industry with possible solutions.
The growing challenges of industry, such as the need for shorter time-to-market and greater flexibility and efficiency, are not new and are not a surprise. Further technological developments such as digitization, cloud connection, and activities of standardization groups open up new solutions and new business ideas. All of these new solutions share a common requirement: availability of powerful, future-proof communication. Examples of this already exist today.
Today's solutions already have important properties for these applications. But it's not just the requirements for transmission bandwidth and real-time capability that are increasing. The profiles available up to now with their semantics for operational data exchange will also be extensively expanded and standardized for the other phases of the life cycle of a device or plant. That can already be derived today from the results of the Industrie 4.0 platform.
PI will also approach these challenges in a proven manner. Users, manufacturers, and specification experts will advance the technology on the basis of real use cases. Of course, technologies such as TSN, IPV6, and OPC UA will be taken into consideration in the process and integrated suitably.